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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Australian Authorities Investigate Vatican Money Trail Linked to Child Abuse Case

Australian authorities are investigating information on claims the Vatican sent $1m to Australia in relation to the Cardinal George Pell sexual abuse trial.

Australian authorities are investigating information on claims the Vatican sent $1m to Australia in relation to the Cardinal George Pell sexual abuse trial which was overturned.

The Australian High Court has quashed Cardinal Pell’s child sexual abuse convictions earlier this year leading many to believe that it was manipulated.

Nicole Rose, the chief executive of AUSTRAC, the Australian government’s financial intelligence service which provided the information to the authorities was asked about allegations published by Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera.

According to  Corriere Della Sera’s report, approximately 700,000 euros in Church funds had been allegedly sent to Australia at the behest of Cardinal Angelo Becciu to influence Pell’s trial on charges of sexual abuse.

“Yes I can confirm AUSTRAC has looked into the matter and we’ve provided information to the AFP (Australian Federal Police) and to Victoria Police,”  said Rose.

The AFP said it was undertaking a review of the relevant information before launching a full investigation regarding the alleged money transfer. 

The information was also relayed to Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission but the agency has not yet made a statement.

Becciu and the lawyer who represented the man who accused Pell of sexually assaulting him in the 1990s, Vivian Waller both denied that there were payments.

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